The July 1 edition of Hannity featured a rare occurrence for television: A liberal, pro-abortion activist had to listen to the conservative cause being articulated. Guest Dana Loesch of The Blaze slammed former NOW President Patricia Ireland's "horrible misunderstanding" of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.
Ireland attempted to make the argument that the Hobby Lobby ruling could open up Pandora’s box to denying people health care entirely. Responding to Sean Hannity’s suggestion that Hobby Lobby is a family owned business that can have its own religious views, Ireland argued: “Okay, and what if that family were Christian Scientists, could they deny all health care?” [MP3 audio here; video below]
Loesch immediately jumped in to shoot down that comparison, pointing out that Ireland’s interpretation of the ruling was “a horrible misunderstanding of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Ireland disagreed, saying she “is quite familiar with religious freedom,” and complained that Loesch was “just going to dominate over everything I try to say.”
Loesch stated that she would let Ireland dominate the conversation if only she brought “more intelligence to the debate.” The conservative talk show host told Ireland, “I’m going to educate you” and followed with an explanation of why the liberal slippery slope claim doesn’t hold up:
The Religious Freedoms Restoration Act, businesses have to sit here and provide. Business owners would have to prove to the government that their religious beliefs, that they–their first amendment rights are being threatened and restricted. Now, the hypothetical slippery slope--ridiculous argument that they could deny all health care, that wouldn't actually be supported by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So it’s a bunk fallacious argument that we're wasting time discussing it.
In reaction to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, it has been rare for their to be any push back against the liberal notion that the ruling will somehow set a precedent to broadly deny health care to various groups of people. It's a welcome change to hear both sides of the religious freedom debate.
The relevant portion of the transcript is below:
July 1, 2014
10:11 p.m. Eastern
SEAN HANNITY, host: Apartheid? Really? Here with reaction, Dana Loesch and former President of the National Organization for Women, . It's been a long time. Former President Patricia Ireland. How are you? Let me ask you the first question, do you know how many forms of birth control Hobby Lobby offered as part of their plan Patricia?
PATRICIA IRELAND, former President of NOW: No, I don't know. I know that some of the most effective forms of birth control they have decided are against their religious belief.
HANNITY: That's not true.
IRELAND: I'm wondering how a for profit business can have religious beliefs, but that's another topic.
HANNITY: It's a family business, and there were 16 Dana–every birth control, and then some that I have not heard of.
DANA LOESCH, The Blaze: Yes, Sean, that's absolutely right. 16 out of 20 or so that were mandated that Hobby Lobby not only provided already, but they were providing birth control to their employees who they paid way above minimum wage by the way, and gave Sundays off. They were doing this before Obama care was even a thought. So the idea that women are somehow being denied anything, look, my rights have not changed after this ruling, Sean, and women who work for Hobby Lobby, they still have access to birth control as provided by Hobby Lobby.
HANNITY: That's the point. I mean, I don't see, how do you make a case when they were providing 16 of the 20 mandated items, and the ones they didn't was like the morning after pill, because they believe life begins at conception. Can't you respect someone's deeply held religious views?
IRELAND: First of all, I don't believe a commercial business has religious views–
HANNITY: It's a family business. It's a family owned, run business.
IRELAND: I don't believe. Okay, and what if that family were Christian scientists, could they deny all health care? I think we've taken the idea that–
LOESCH: That's a horrible misunderstanding of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act–
IRELAND: I'm sorry, I'm quite familiar with religious freedom, and it does not trump–
LOESCH: Apparently you're not familiar with it.
IRELAND: I'm sorry, do I get to speak, or is she just going to dominate over everything I try to say?
LOESCH: I'll correct you. If you want me to dominate than bring more intelligence to the debate.
IRELAND: Alright. Perhaps I could make my statement Sean, or is that not allowed.
HANNITY: Yeah, but the point is, the 16 of the 20–
IRELAND: The point is that I would like to make my statement.
HANNITY: 16 of the 20 are approved–
IRELAND: Okay, you can keep talking too, because it is your show. It's not Dana's show.
HANNITY: Alright, go ahead.
IRELAND: All right. Four, perhaps those four might be the kind that I need in particular. But I really don't believe that a woman's rights under a federal law to health coverage should be denied based on the corporations owner's views, and I come back to, what if the corporation’s owners don't believe in any medical care or taking the idea that a corporation is a person to its illogical extreme–
HANNITY: Let’s stick to the facts of this case, this is a family owned business, we still have a constitution, the free exercise thereof. This is their deeply held religious conviction. Either we believe in religious freedom, and by the way that would extend to one's business life, and personal life, or we don't, Dana, that's how I see it.
LOESCH: You know, Sean.
IRELAND: You believe in federal laws or we don't. Do they cover all of us?
LOESCH: I have to jump in here.
HANNITY: Dana, go ahead.
LOESCH: What really bothers me, Sean is that we have– you know I'm sure Patricia is an educated woman. It does women a disservice when we have women speaking out about this topic and they don't seem understand the facts at hand. So let me set something straight here, the Religious Freedom–
IRELAND: I understand the facts at hand.
LOESCH: No, clearly you don't. I'm going to educate you. I respect my elders–
HANNITY: Hang on.
LOESCH: Sean, The Religious Freedoms Restoration Act, businesses have to sit here and provide. Business owners would have to prove to the government that their religious beliefs, that they–their first amendment rights are being threatened and restricted. Now, the hypothetical slippery slope--ridiculous argument they could deny all health care, that wouldn't actually be supported by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So it’s a bunk fallacious argument that we're wasting time discussing it.